Deputy Speaker Dolma Gyari offering ceremonial scarf to Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh (Photo: Tenzin Norbu)
Dharamshala: The Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile yesterday heaped laurels of gratitude and admiration upon the visiting state Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh for always being ready, willing and able to support the Tibetan exiles, during a banquet hosted in the honour of the chief minister, who was accompanied by various ministers and legislators of the State Government, and officials of the local Kangra district administration.
Officiating the cultural-cum-dinner reception, as Speaker Karma Chophel was indisposed, Deputy Speaker Dolma Gyari lavished Tibetan peoples gratitude towards the Chief Minister for his magnanimous considerations on various issues, including the inception of the Vidhan Sabha Forum for Tibet, right to ownership of properties by Tibetan institutions, protection of Tibetan vendors at McLeod Gunj, and so on.
Mrs Gyari further added that the Forum for Tibet, which has been a great boost for the Tibetan cause, was meant to serve as an example for other states, and solicited the Chief Minister, along with the state ministers and legislators, to garner support for similar forums in other states.
Indian and Tibetan dignitaries at the banquet (Photo: Tenzin Norbu)
Addressing the dignitaries from the Tibetan Administration, including Justice Commissioners, Kalons, members of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile and heads of the autonomous offices, the Chief Minister expressed his regret that he could not call upon His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Kalon Tripa Samdhong Rinpoche, during this visit, as both were out of town.
"We revere His Holiness the Dalai Lama not only as the symbol of divinity, but also as the symbol of everlasting friendship between the peoples of Tibet and India," said Mr Singh, in whose honour a similar banquet was hosted by the Tibetan Parliament this time last year, at the conclusion of the winter session of the state legislative assembly.
Chief Minister Singh, who is also the president of the Forum for Tibet in the state assembly, declared that the forums next conclave will be convened at Shimla, during the budget session in the coming February.
Speaking on behalf of Mr. Prem Kumar Dumal, the former chief-minister, also the first vice-president of the forum, Dr. Rajiv Bindal, an MLA and spokesperson for the state BJP, said that "the cultures of India and Tibet are two manifestations of one derivative, which has been nurtured for thousands of years."
"Which is precisely why the 4,000 km-long Indo-Tibetan border was never patrolled at any point of history. The affilliations of language, culture, trade and way of living between the two peoples are so deep that one could always find an Indian synonym for what is spoken in Tibet."
Dr. Bindal further underscored the lingual affinity between the two peoples, by quoting Kalon Tempa Tsering, who had informed him earlier at the banquet that even the present Tibetan script was evolved from the Indian Pali.
The banquet also treated the guests to a visual feast of traditional Tibetan opera and dances, staged by a troupe from the Than-tong Lugar Tibetan Performing Arts, based near here at Sarah, in addition to a Bole Nath bajan by Mahindra and party.(www.tibet.net is the official website of the Central Tibetan Administration of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.)